ADT: Chikka races to first round lead

Wed 24 Feb 2016

ADT: Chikka races to first round lead

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Shah Alam, Malaysia, February 24: India’s Chikkarangappa S. fired a superb eight-under-par 64 to grab a one-shot lead over Gavin Green of Malaysia after the first round of the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old Indian, who enjoyed a tied-fourth finish on the Asian Tour in Bangladesh a fortnight ago, rolled in six birdies and one eagle to steal the limelight from a redemption-seeking Green, who had blown a five-shot lead to settle for second place in the last edition.
HUA_HIN_THAILAND_120116_GAVIN_GREEN_001 Gavin Green of Malaysia
Green, also 22, would have matched the efforts of Chikkarangappa if not for his only dropped shot of the day on par-three fifth that put him in second place at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, which hosted the prestigious EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM last month.
2014 ADT Order of Merit champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand opened with a 66 to take third place while compatriot Phachara Khongwatmai, Malaysia’s Mohd Iylia Jamil, American duo John Jackson and Lexus Keoninh shared fourth following matching 67s in the RM200,000 (approximately US$46,600) event.
“It’s great to get off to a good start. I came with some new clubs in the bag and I am really happy to be hitting the ball well. The game has been feeling good. I had a good start to the season with a top-five finish on the Asian Tour two weeks ago and that has given me some confidence coming here,” said Chikkarangappa.
Chikkarangappa, who started off the 10th, fired three birdies to turn in 33 and added another birdie on third before storming home with an eagle-birdie-birdie in his closing four holes.
“The course is in a great shape. The greens are nice and soft. Hopefully I can continue to take advantage of the good conditions and capitalize on my lead,” added the young Indian, who punched his approach shot to 10 feet for eagle on par-five sixth.
Like Chikkarangappa, the big-hitting Green started from the 10th and stayed sharp in his front nine where he was rewarded with three birdies. He went on to fire one eagle and three birdies against a lone bogey on his way home.
“I have had some good memories of this course although I didn’t finish well last year. This course suits my game a lot and I managed to keep the ball in play today. I was able to take advantage of the par-fives as well.
“My wedge shots were good too as I was able to hit it close to give myself some chances for birdies,” said Green, who chipped in for eagle on sixth from 20-feet in the right rough.
The highly-rated Green, who turned professional last June, created headlines when he became the first amateur to win on the region’s burgeoning Tour in 2014.
Defending champion Blake Snyder of the United States opened with a 75 to sit in tied-93rd place at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship.
With the Olympic Games looming this July where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading first round results:
64 - Chikkarangappa S. (IND)
65 - Gavin GREEN (MAS)
66 - Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA)
67 - John JACKSON (USA) , Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) , Mohd Iylia JAMIL (MAS) , Lexus KEONINH (USA)
68 - Dodge KEMMER (USA) , Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) , Kevin TECHAKANOKBOON (THA) , Clarke LUTTON (SCO) , Danny MASRIN (INA) , Shunya TAKEYASU (JPN) , Paul HARRIS (USA)
69 - K P LIN (TPE) , Greg MOSS (USA) , Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) , R. Nachimuthu (MAS) , Jakraphan PREMSIRIGORN (THA) , Mohamad Azman BASHARUDIN (MAS) , Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) , Rizal AMIN (MAS) , Wilson CHOO (MAS) , Nirun SAE-UENG (THA)
Ends.
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.